The ministry of Jesus continues. For 33 brief years, the Son of God walked this earth 2,000 years ago. He was crucified, died and buried. On the third day he rose again from the dead, and then ascended into heaven where he now sits at the right hand of the Father.
From there, He poured out His Holy Spirit upon the church. He had told the disciples he would leave them but send them another one, just like him, “the Helper.” Jesus gave the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to the church in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, and we have that same Spirit with us and in us today. The Spirit came to give believers life — resurrecting our hearts from the death of sin. The Spirit also came to empower us to serve in the name of Jesus. The book of Acts makes it clear that the ministry of Jesus continues through the lives of his people — the church. They became his hands and his feet. We are now to be his hands and feet.
In Acts 3, Peter and John release healing to a lame man who is made to walk, and leap and praise God. They declare this healing to them in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. They knew it was not them or their power that made him well, but it was the name of Jesus. Yet, they were the vessels that God used in the life of this man.
The ministry of Jesus continued in and through their life. The lame man in Acts 3 sat, begging at the Temple gate every day. Peter locked eyes with this lame man and said, “look at me.” He made it personal. He wanted the man to know that he was seen, and he was known. He was important. Peter then acted in faith in the name of Jesus. The lame man was expecting a monetary gift. Peter let the man know that they didn’t have any money but that had something greater — the presence and power of the name of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The man was healed that day. His life and his heart changed, as his body was healed. He was leaping and praising God.
The lame man is a picture of all of humanity. We have been crippled by sin, left as spiritual beggars. Many will never acknowledge this, assuring us they are fine. They are good people, and do not need God’s forgiveness and grace. Yet, truly we are lame, sinful and broken and in need of resurrection. There is no money or asset on earth that will secure our healing and freedom. It is the name of Jesus Christ that can set us free. The person of Jesus Christ can raise us up from our broken, crippled place of sin and give us a new life to walk in fellowship and obedience to God.
I do believe God still heals people physically today. I believe he could make a crippled person walk. I have not had the privilege of seeing such an extraordinary miracle quite like this. I have seen people healed — from infections, from cancer, from other forms of illness. I can’t say that I have seen everyone I pray for healed. I just seek to obey the scriptures like James and anoint the sick with oil, and lay hands on them praying the prayer of faith and trusting God with his work. We should pray and visit our doctors as God often uses medicine. It is biblical to seek, prayer for, and fight for healing in prayer through the name of Jesus.
Our ultimate goal, however, is not physical healing. It is simply to bring people into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are all terminal. We will all one day die. We should want people to meet the one who can raise them up, not just in their bodies, but in the spirit and soul. The resurrected Jesus changes heart and lives. He forgives sin and makes people knew. And His ministry and message of reconciliation and restoration continues today — through people like you and me.
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 634-2960.